Update on SJSU Spring 2021 Commencement Plans

Dear campus community, 

Recently, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released additional guidance specific to large events, raising hopes that in-person commencement ceremonies might be a possibility for SJSU graduates.

After careful review of the revised California state and Santa Clara county guidelines, we are delighted to announce that a mix of in-person and online celebratory activities will be available this May to honor our Spring Class of 2021 graduates.

The health and safety of our campus community, and your extended families, continue to be our highest priorities, and for these reasons — including the geography of our campus as an urban institution which makes it difficult to space attendees out properly — a fully in-person celebration is not yet safely possible.

Additionally, smaller celebratory events hosted by academic units, student organizations and other campus departments may only be held virtually.

Though specific details are still in development, we are working to create a safe, socially-distant, in-person experience on campus May 26-28 where students will have the opportunity to be individually recognized. Degrees themselves will be conferred virtually during our live-streamed kick-off event on Wednesday, May 26. As more details become available in the coming weeks, we will offer updated information on SJSU’s Commencement website.

While we understand that our hybrid approach does not completely meet the desire for a live, in-person ceremony, we look forward to being able to celebrate the hard work and achievements of our upcoming graduates.

As SJSU remains committed to honoring all of our recent graduates whose commencement was affected by COVID-19, we have begun exploring potential dates in the fall that will allow us to safely celebrate the spring and fall graduating classes of 2020. Participation in either the hybrid or online celebrations will not disqualify graduates from participating in a future live ceremony if they choose to do so.

The Commencement website will provide more details in the coming weeks on what graduates can expect and how to participate. There are also two Virtual Grad Fest events planned (April 13 and April 16) for students to get information about how to participate in the celebration. The SJSU Commencement Instagram account is another great resource for students to stay up-to-date.


Dr. Mary A. Papazian